Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Undertale Party

Last week, I wrote a review about the video game UndertaleIf you haven’t read it, go ahead and skim it before trying out this program! Also, be sure to ask your regular teens if they’re fans of Undertale before deciding to do this program. Undertale is a niche fandom that isn’t nearly as big as something like Pokemon Go, so make sure you are guaranteed an audience first!

undertale

I had my Undertale program a few weekends ago on a Saturday afternoon. One of my regular teens volunteered to help decorate our program room and plan games, which was a HUGE help!  The best part about my Undertale program was how it attracted teens from all over our county who didn’t know each other, and they all exchanged phone numbers at the end!

Music: I always like to play music in the background during programs because it makes it less awkward if there’s a lull in conversation.  I recommend two different playlists for this program.  First, you can play Undertale’s soundtrack on this YouTube playlist.  But, if you want to get hardcore, you can play music from the Undertale musical. Yes, you read that correctly!  Someone made an Undertale musical, which you can find on YouTube here.  This is a bonus for your teens who are big Hamilton fans!

YouTube Video:

Food: There are a ton of ridiculous names for food in Undertale, and they’re inspirational for food creation activities (a part of me wishes I made rock candy with the teens!)For a complete list, you can click here.

I chose to buy a candy mix and called it “Monster Candy”, Cinnamon Bunnies, and Spider Cider.  I had teens create and bake their own Cinnamon Bunnies using Pillsbury dough and chocolate chips.  We made big bunnies, small bunnies, and what we dubbed “womp bunnies” for all of the bunnies whose ears fell off while eating it.  I also poured apple cider in cups and put plastic spiders in them.

Craft: I always try to give the teens something to take home from a large program like this, so I printed out Undertale perler bead patterns and let the teens go nuts.  Kandi Patterns has plenty of different character patterns available for free!  *Be sure you have PLENTY of black available, because every single character needs a black outline!*

skull-thingy

Perler beads are the perfect craft for this video game because the game’s graphics are 8-bit, and perler beads look just like the video game!  Creating perler bead crafts gave the teens something to do with their hands while they talked all things Undertale.  They talked for a long time about their favorite character, what path they played through first, and what is their favorite YouTuber “Let’s Play” video.

monkeything

Games: Figuring out games to play was a little tricky.  I did not want to play the video game itself because it’s only a single player game, and I wanted all of my teens to be engaged at once.  I decided to pick aspects of Undertale that were fun, and create activities that are somewhat related.  You could easily do your own puzzle activities, since that would fit Undertale’s gameplay.

Pun Off: Puns are a big part of the game, whether you enjoy them or not.  I planned to have a formal “Pun Off”, but it actually manifested by itself during the perler beads crafts.  The teens tried to come up with their best puns and reciting puns they memorized from the game.

Collect Gold Coins: In order to survive in the game, players have to collect coins which can be used to buy food for health.  I actually planned out a scavenger hunt for gold coins, but that fell through because our library reorganized our interior that weekend because we are renovating soon!  So, I decided to repurpose the ball pit balls that I spray painted gold and have the teens play a live version of Hungry Hungry Hippos.  Is Hungry Hungry Hippos related to Undertale? Not in the slightest, but it wouldn’t be a library program without a little improvisation!

goldballs

Disarming a Bomb:  One popular mini game in Undertale is disarming bombs in under three minutes.  I wanted to do something related to disarming bombs, which is how I discovered the video game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.  I reviewed it for TLT, which you can read here.  The teens LOVED this game, and it will now be featured at our weekly Teen Game Night program!

Marshmallow Target Practice:  I printed out a giant version of Flowey, taped him to our library building outside, and let the teens practice throwing marshmallows at it.  I made sure to buy those giant campfire marshmallows for easy throwing! Flowey is the primary boss in the game, so don’t be fooled by the cute looking flower.

Glow Stick Dance Party: I had a celebratory dance program at the very end, especially because they were full of sugar!  I turned off the lights, gave them glow sticks, and turned up the music!

Video: Glow stick party

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

 

Video Games Weekly: Undertale

undertale

This week’s video game, Undertale,  is once again a PC game that teens (especially teen girls) love, but circulating library collections may not be able to purchase because it is a digital download only.  My teens requested an Undertale themed library program, and it attracted a more diverse crowd of teens compared to my usual programs!  Next week, I’ll write a Teen Program in a Box post for Undertale.

YouTube Trailer

Platform:  PC

Rated:  No official ESRB rating. I personally would give it a T because there is fighting / genocide themes, but nothing gory.

Single or Multiplayer: Single

Storyline: The game begins with the universe’s history.  A long time ago, humans were at war with monsters, and the monsters were banished underground.  The monsters couldn’t escape because a magical seal only allows certain types of souls to get through.  Many years later, a human, which the player gets to name and control, manages to somehow fall through this barrier.  The human wakes up and meets Toriel, a maternal goat-like figure who protects humans who have fallen through the barrier (no spoilers about why she has to protect them…).  Eventually, the human leaves Toriel in order to explore the underground world.

 

Controls: The controls are old school keyboard controls. You use the arrow keys to move around, “Z” to select things, “X” to cancel, and “C” for menu. That’s it!

Gameplay:  Players will encounter monsters that are mean, shy, like to tell jokes, and more quirky personality traits.  Some are random spawns, while others are well fleshed out characters that are significant to the plot.  There are multiple options when interacting with a monster.  Whenever players select an option, you play different mini games that in essence protect their “soul” which is in the shape of an 8-bit heart.

Undertale is at its core a “choose your own adventure” game with three distinct story routes: pacifist, neutral, and genocide.  The game purposefully does not tell you that there are alternate routes until the very end, but my teens insisted that I should play through the neutral route the first time.  The game is meant to be played over and over again, and your actions will have consequences that carry over into the next game.

Neutral Route: The neutral route is the route where players do not kill many monsters, and tend to choose the nice options. You can kill one monster and it’ll be fine.  Players have to unlock the neutral route first before they can unlock alternate endings.

Image: https://strangerworldsdotcom3.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/undertale-review-2.jpg

Pacifist Route:  The pacifist route is by far the most annoying.  When you meet a monster, you have to pick the “nice” option MANY times in order to do some good.  Sure, you can flee from monsters, but you don’t get any coins by taking the easy route. Coins are important in this game because you can buy silly items like a Cinnamon Bunny that give you life, so it’s in your best interest to be friendly to monsters.  Players who complete the neutral storyline first, then play the pacific route a second time will get a “happy” ending, basically the one that everyone wants.

Genocide Route:  The genocide route is pretty self-explanatory…you kill every monster.  Now, it’s important to note that this is the “easiest” route in the game in terms of gameplay.  It’s a lot easier to kill a monster because you only have to play through one mini game, instead of doing it multiple times like in the neutral/pacific route. However, the ending is incredibly heart wrenching, incredibly dark, and dramatic (and personally my favorite ending).

Audience: This game is unexpectedly appealing to my teen girl gamers.  I think it’s because there are female-ish (remember, Toriel is a maternal goat-like monster) characters that are fleshed out, not sex objects.  I also believe it’s attractive to teens because the moral of Undertale is “Actions Have Consequences”.  I believe teens really start to embrace this idea because they’re old enough to have experienced their own version of “actions have consequences”.  Finally, a teen told me that she loves the game because it teaches you that “it’s more difficult to choose love, but in the end, it will always pay off.”

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Pricing: $10 on Steam http://undertale.com/